Category Archives: Weight Loss

4 Week Shape Up Program – SIGN UP NOW

4-week-shape-up

Hey y’all!  I hope your week is off to an awesome start!  SO…last month my  friend Megan, Founder of The Lyons’ Share Wellness, and I hosted a new service at my fitness studio called the September Shape Up!  Essentially, I was noticing that lots of the girls at my studio were super consistent with their workouts, however they weren’t getting the results they wanted…

Brit’s 2 Reasons For Lack of Results: 

  1. Lack of proper meal planning / meal prep
  2. Doing the wrong mix of workouts

SO, I designed a 4 week program to help them create weekly workout plans and weekly meals plans based on their specific goals and preferences.  Megan and I also provided recipes and workouts to put in their plans and track over the 4 week period.

We started the program with a kick off workshop and over 80 ladies signed up and showed up – WOW!

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A packed house of ladies fully engaged in our meal prep seminar at the Shape Up Kick off meeting

I led a seminar teaching them how to create an effective workout plan and Megan taught them how to meal plan and meal prep.  We also walked through an inspirational goal setting exercise and assigned weekly accountability metrics to track their progress.

Me helping the ladies measure and understand their body fat %

Me helping the ladies measure and understand their body fat %

The September Shape Up has been a HUGE success with SO MANYs losing body fat, feeling more energized and most importantly, getting stronger and healthier!

Because the program has had such a tremendous impact,Megan and I decided to video our meal planning and workout planning lessons from the kick off workshop and make the 4 Week Shape Up Plan available online just for you – YAY!  We have tons of recipes, home workouts, lessons and personal tips to help you shape up.

Just visit 4weekshapeup.com for details and to register!  This means that you (no matter where you live) can sign up for the program and start get results today!  Get excited to look and feel like a BOSS.  I’m so pumped for your success!

Register-Now-Button

If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll answer ASAP!  Have an awesome week!

xoxo,Brit

 

Soup Up to Slim Down: Delicious High-Protein Spring Soup Recipe

It’s Spring – yippee!  In warmer weather I often feel weird eating soup because it seems like such a “cold weather thing.”  However I’d like to keep up my soup consumption because doing so is great for weight management.  Studies show that people who sip on soup before their meal are more likely eat fewer calories at their meal.   Better yet, soup eaters often skip on dessert because they feel full.

Unfortunately, I can’t get down with most Spring inspired cold soups like gazpacho and chilled veggie puree concoctions – just not my thing.  So I researched some nutritious and delicious, hot “Spring Soup” recipes to share with you guys.  The following Spring Minestrone by Hank Shaw intrigued me because it’s low in fat yet high in protein.  More importantly it sounds light and tasty and seems pretty simple to prepare.  If you don’t spend much time in the kitchen (no judgement here) I highly recommend the soup bar at Whole Foods – particularly the Moroccan Lentil and White Bean Kale.  Try to avoid cream based soups since they are higher in calories and fat.

Hope you like – let me know! xoxo, Brit

Spring Minestrone Soup from Simply Recipes

spring-minestrone

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

You can either make fresh pesto for this recipe, or you can just buy some high-quality pesto in the market.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 green garlic stalks, or 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
  • Up to 1/4 cup pesto
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish

METHOD

1 Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. If you are using regular garlic cloves, put them with the white parts of the green onions. Slice the potatoes and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.

2 In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 1 minute.

3 Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

4 Add the artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.

5 Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Serve topped with grated cheese.


Spring Break Shape Up: 6 Tricks to Burn an Extra 200 Calories Per Day

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Hey gang!  Spring is around the corner and I know that my inbox will be full of Spring time shape up requests.  To keep us ahead of the last minute slim down dash, here’s my 6 quick and easy tricks to burn excess calories.

First, remember that in order to truly lose 1 pound of body weight, we must burn 3,500 calories more than we consume.  Assuming your diet and activity remain consistent, adding these 6 tricks to your daily routine can  result in losing 1 additional pound every ~18 days.  Not bad huh?  Also be sure to note that these estimates are based on 150-160 pound person.  A lighter person will burn fewer calories and a heavier person will burn more.

Brit’s 6 Tricks

  1. Stand up at your desk instead of sitting.  Standing burns about 50 percent more calories than sitting.  Standing at your desk for 30 minutes will burn about 72 calories (2X the amount burned while sitting).  Standing instead of sitting for 30 minutes = 36 calories
  2. Learn to Laugh.  15 minutes of laughter = 20 calories
  3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Climbing two flights of stairs, three times per day = 30 calories
  4. Dance in the mirror.  Dancing is a fun, self-confidence boosting calorie blaster.  So twerk a little something while getting dressed for work in the morning 🙂  Dancing for 10 minutes = 58 calories
  5. Stretch in front of the TV.  Doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying Scandal or the Bachelor, be sure to stretch instead of sit on the couch.  8-10 minutes of stretching = 31 calories
  6. Choose the parking spot farthest from your building entrance.  Walking for an extra 5 minutes = 25 calories

 Total = 200 additional calories burned! 

burn more calories

 

Dawn Beats Dusk: Trade your late night snack for a hearty breakfast

dawnbeatsdusk Hey guys!  I hope you are enjoying your weekend and looking forward to a wonderful week ahead.  As you plan for your weekly grind, I just wanted to share a little nutritional nugget of wisdom.  Now, you guys know that I firmly believe getting an early start to the day.  That’s right, 5:30 am wake up call!  There are numerous wellness benefits of being an “early bird” – get up and get that worm!  Not only does waking up early help your productivity, but doing so also entices you to eat breakfast which gets your metabolism going.

When it comes to weight-management, studies show, it’s not just HOW MUCH you eat but WHEN you eat that affects your weight.  Long story short, here’s why you should eat your BIG meals EARLY in the day and skip late night snacking…

  • People who eat after 8pm have higher Body Mass Indexes (BMI) than those who don’t
  • Calories consumed at night are not processed as efficiently as those during the day
  • Sleep disruption is likely if your stomach is working hard to process food
  • You are likely to eat larger portions later in the day than earlier (Weil Cornell Medical Research)
  • At night, you are most likely eating out of boredom, NOT because you are genuinely hungry

That said, you’re probably now asking, “How can I consume calories earlier in the day instead of later?”  Well, search no further.  I put together this list of 5 Tips to Eat Breakfast Like a King and Dinner Like a Beggar.  Check it out 🙂

  1. Consume at least 400 calories for breakfast

  2. Eat protein at breakfast and lunch

  3. Have a hi-fiber snack before and after lunch

  4. Don’t eat after 8:00 pm

  5. Go to bed early!

Show me your GRIT! xoxo, Brit

show me your GRIT

5 Biggest Weight-Loss Lies

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As a group fitness instructor I see several hard working men and women regularly attend the gym  and still have difficulty losing weight.  They log hours of cardio, eat “low-fat” foods and have loyalty cards to Smoothie King but nothing seems to work.  Personally, I also struggled with weight loss until my personal trainer at the time (Thank you Sam!) gave me some “real talk.”  See, many of the tips and tricks I learned from my mom and friends were flat out wrong.  The reality is that our bodies are really smart and really efficient.  Therefore we have to shock them in order to get the results we want.  We also have to respect the principles of Biology – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories that you consume.”  So with these nuggets of wisdom in mind, I also wanted to share the 5 biggest weight loss lies that led me astray for several years…

  1. Must Do More Cardio – Okay, it’s true that minute for minute, cardio burns more calories than weight training.  However, if your usual 30-45 minutes on the elliptical or recumbent bike isn’t doing the trick, it’s because you’re heart rate is getting elevated enough.  In order to burn a lot of calories, you have work really hard.  Yea, like sucking air at times.  You heart rate need to reach the anaerobic zone (60-85% of your max heart rate).  This is why interval training is so effective.  In interval training, you sprint for 20-30 seconds then take a quick rest and repeat.  In fact, you can burn twice as man calories in 10 minutes of interval training as compared to 10 minutes of regular, steady pace cardio activity.  The truth is that harder, smarter cardio is the key to weight loss, not more cardio.
  2. Skip Meals to Drop Pounds – Skipping meals keeps you from losing weight in 2 key ways:  First, doing so makes you binge eat later in the day because you’re starving.  Binge eating stretches out your stomach and allows you to consume far too many calories.  Also, eating large meals late in the day leaves minimal opportunity for you to burn off the calories (because you are going to sleep soon and the food just sits in your tummy).  Second, starving yourself slows down your metabolism which makes it harder for you to burn calories and harder for you to lose weight.  Long story short, don’t skip meals.  Eat 5 small meals throughout the day that are high in lean protein and fiber.  It actually takes true grit to plan 5 healthy meals than to skip breakfast and lunch and indulge in one giant dinner.
  3. Focus on Fat Reduction – This may come as a shock,  but the truth is “Fat (in moderation) is GOOD, Sugar is BAD.”  We need fat for bodily functions.  “Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, and they are vital for your nervous system.” – Barbara Roberts, MD, director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence. The key is to eat unsaturated fats like olive oil and olives, canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds and avocados.  “Several studies have shown that eating small amounts of nuts helps dieters lose weight because the fiber and protein help dieters feel full longer. Dieters are less like to overeat and more successful at losing weight.” – WebMD 2013  Sugar on the other hand is the devil when it comes to weight loss.  Sugar absorbs quickly, provides minimal nutritional value, makes you hungry and then turns into bad fat if you don’t immediately burn it off.   When making a food decisions, always take unsaturated fats over sugar if weight loss is your goal.
  4. Smoothies Make You Skinny – The truth is that most smoothies are loaded with sugar and too much sugar makes you fat.  Now, smoothies are good for meal replacements every once in a while as long as they are made with raw fruits and veggies (not fruit juice) and if they include protein.  Be sure to ask for a scoop of whey protein in your smoothie so that you will feel fuller and help offset the sugar spike.  Be careful about having smoothies for snacks as you can easily pack on an extra 300-400 calories without even realizing it.
  5. My Genetics Make me Overweight – “While genes strongly decide the shape of your body, peoples’ lifestyle (primarily eating too much and moving too little) is by far the main reason they’re [overweight]. Research has shown that our eating and exercise habits are heavily influenced by the people we spend time with the most, which is likely the main reason we see obesity running in families. Genes have an influence, but it’s relatively minor for the vast majority of humans.”  – Melinda Johnson, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The moral of the story is, “Get rid of the genetics excuse and get you some fit friends.” – Brit  For realz.

May the weight-loss TRUTH set you free.  xoxo, Brit

The Skinny on Weight Loss Supplements – Which diet pills work?

If you’re like me, then you have tried EVERY diet pill and weight loss supplement in the book!  Some were relatively safe – Apple Cider Vinegar, which tastes horrible.  Some were not so safe – Xenadrine, which made my heart flutter.  Nonetheless, as a fitness and wellness professional, I’ve come to understand which supplements are safe and which ones are risky.  I’ve also learned which ones are effective and which ones are wastes of money.

You’ve probably heard of popular weight loss pills like…popular-diet-pills

  • Hydroxycut
  • Quick Trim (from the Kardashian’s)
  • Xenadrine (popular in the early 2000’s)
  • Stimmurex
  • The list goes on and on…

All of these pills are “thermogenic” compounds. Simply put, they are a combination of basic vitamins and TON of caffeine.  Overall, they try to raise your body temperature.  However, simply being hot (literally) doesn’t make you lose weight.  If it did, people who live in warm climates would be significantly smaller than people who live in cold climates – as a native Texan, let me tell you, that ain’t true!

When caffeine is used in moderation, it can provide you with more energy to workout and, as a result, you may burn more calories and lose weight.  But just taking thermogenic compounds by themselves, without significantly increasing your exercise intensity or daily activity, will not lead to weight loss!  All these pills are going to give you is INSOMNIA!  And guess what, sleep deprivation is a leading cause of weight gain.  So, no need to waste your time or money on any of these thermogenic compunds.

The bottom line is that you should NOT trust all of the claims that weight loss pills make and you should not go BROKE buying supplements. When used effectively (in combination with a healthy diet), vitamins and supplements are a great way to fuel your muscles and replenish your body of essential nutrients.  The most effective supplements can be purchased over the counter at a local drug or nutrition store.  Here’s a list of weight loss supplements that I personally recommend:

Weight Loss Supplements

Also, here’s an informative table that that provides a good overview of popular weight loss supplements, pills and products.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/HQ01160

Product Claim Effectiveness Side effects
Alli — OTC version of prescription drug orlistat (Xenical) Decreases absorption of dietary fat Effective; but weight loss is even more modest than that with Xenical Loose stools, oily spotting, frequent or hard-to-control bowel movements; reports of rare, but serious liver injury
Bitter orange Increases calories burned Probably ineffective Similar to ephedra: raised blood pressure and heart rate
Chitosan Blocks absorption of dietary fat Probably ineffective Uncommon: upset stomach, nausea, gas, increased stool bulk, constipation
Chromium Decreases appetite and increases calories burned Probably ineffective Uncommon: headache, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, cognitive dysfunction
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) Reduces body fat Possibly effective Upset stomach, nausea, loose stools
Green tea extract Decreases appetite, and increases calorie and fat metabolism Insufficient evidence to evaluate Dizziness, insomnia, agitation, nausea, vomiting, bloating, gas, diarrhea
Guar gum Blocks absorption of dietary fat and increases feeling of fullness Possibly ineffective Abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea
Hoodia Decreases appetite Insufficient evidence to evaluate Insufficient information available

But above all of these, LIQUID GRIT is my highest recommended weight loss supplement! xoxo, Brit

liquidGRIT

The ONLY way to lose weight…

Forget the B-12 injections, fad diets, miracle drinks, diet pills and quick fix workout plans.  Ask anyone who has successfully lost weight AND kept it off and they will tell you that they ATE LESS and MOVED MORE.  Burning more calories than you consume is the ONLY true scientific way to lose weight.  In reality, this is easier said than done.  So here are some helpful tips that have kept me on track during my weight management journey:

  • I CAN’T out exercise a bad diet – No matter how much I hit the gym, it’s simply too hard to burn off all of the calories of a bad diet.  Think about it, a burger and fries could be around 2,000 calories.  This means 2 hours of high intensity cardiovascular exercise to work it off.  There’s simply not enough time in the day to truly burn off the calories in a bad diet.
  • I CAN use exercise to speed up weight loss – You must burn 3,500 calories more than you consume to legitimately lose 1 pound.  So if you take on a low-calorie diet PLUS burn an extra 400-600 calories per day through an hour of exercise, you will obtain your dream body much sooner!
  • HOW MUCH I eat is more important than WHAT I eat – Look, you can eat too many apples and still be fat.  A calorie, is a calorie is a calorie. If you eat too many calories without burning them off, you WILL gain weight.  Don’t be deceived by healthy foods. Too much of ANY food will still pack on pounds.
  • MAKE yourself love fruits, veggies and water – No matter how much I try, I find it nearly impossible to get my body the nutrition it needs within my daily caloric budget without lots of water, fruits and veggies.  No other foods are as low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins.  Also, the water keeps my metabolism revved up and makes me feel full.

Keep these points in mind and you start your week.  Even a small personal commitment to be more active during the day, eat less or drink more water can make a big impact on your weight management.

I love a good sweat session BUT it MUST go hand in hand with a low-calorie, nutritious diet!

What’s more difficult for you?  Eating less?  Or moving more?